Thursday’s Mini-Report

THURSDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:

* A certain Texan’s apology notwithstanding, BP CEO Tony Hayward did not have a pleasant experience on Capitol Hill today: “Hayward grew defensive as the accusatory tone of the hearing grew more heated and members of the House panel began asking detailed questions about the design of the company’s oil well and the faulty decisions BP engineers and managers made about keeping it under control. As the hearing proceeded, he was unable — and, occasionally, unwilling — to answer detailed questions.”

* In related news, Hayward should have made a little more of an effort to change his rhetoric from the words he used in his television ad campaign.

* It’s almost hard to believe, but Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) top corporate donor is a partner on … BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig.

* The fallout from the raid: “Israel announced Thursday that it will loosen its blockade of the Gaza Strip and allow more goods to enter the territory. The decision came in response to international pressure on Israel to end its siege of the strip following an Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship that left nine activists dead.”

* The number of people filing for unemployment benefits was expected to drop last week. It didn’t: “The Labor Department says initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 472,000, the highest level in a month.”

* The Obama administration rolled out new sanctions on Iran yesterday.

* Another good piece from Dahlia Lithwick: “Ignoring Maher Arar won’t make his torture claims go away.”

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) seems to realize that health care costs would go up if the individual mandate — an idea he used to support — were scrapped. He doesn’t care.

* Shameless: when Fox News aired footage from this morning’s hearing with Hayward, the network edited out Barton’s apology. Imagine that.

* College enrollment recently saw its largest increase in 40 years. Much of it is the result in a boost in minority enrollment.

* And finally, Bill Randall, a Republican congressional candidate in North Carolina, believes there’s a “possibility” that federal officials and BP “colluded” to create the oil spill in the Gulf. He couldn’t explain why anyone would want this, and added, “I’m not necessarily a conspiracy person.” Randall nevertheless signaled his support for an “investigation,” leading me to once again wonder where in the world the Republican Party finds these clowns.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

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